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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

A hug is duct tape for the soul.

From Fox News:
As many as 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injury each year in the U.S., and tens of thousands die. Those who survive are often left facing years of physical, occupational and speech therapy, mountains of bills and limited insurance options.

Nine months ago, Marie Beattie was awakened at 3 a.m. by a phone call that changed her life.

Her 18-year-old daughter, Corey, suffered a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, when a truck broadsided the car she was riding in.

With her body twisted and broken, it took two hours for rescuers to untangle Corey from the wreckage. She had a broken neck, multiple fractures and, Beattie says, “The brain not only was hit within the impact, it spun within her frame of her skull.”

Doctors say Corey's best chance for maximum recovery is 12 months of intense inpatient rehabilitation. But she was released after only 6 1/2 months.

According to Beattie, her family's health insurance, Independence Blue Cross of Pennsylvania, sent her daughter home too early.

But medical opinions differ over the best treatment for TBI.

In a statement to Fox News, Karen Godlewski, a spokesperson for the insurance company, defended the decision to release Corey: "Corey's transition to home was consistent with the recommendations of the professionals at Bryn Mawr rehab hospital who noted that ongoing therapy could be provided in a less intensive setting."

But Corey's surgeon, Dr. Kennedy Yalamanchili, says 12 months is the best window of opportunity for brain trauma patients. "We try to provide the maximum benefit during the period of time that brain's ability to rehabilitate and regenerate exists."

Corey's battle is just one example of the millions of families left heartbroken and buried in bills.

This also happened to a friend of mine over 20 years ago. Her beautiful 16-year-old daughter was seriously injured in an automobile accident and suffered brain damage. Their insurance policy had a $1 million cap which they blew through in the first year or so. The cost of medical care, therapy, rehab, etc was so expensive they had trouble processing it. Totally depleted family savings, broke up the family and harmed the mom's career because she had to devote so much time to her daughter's care. It was absolutely heartbreaking, and I don't think it's much better today. If anyone has a good story to tell about this, I'd like to hear it.

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